It's almost impossible to think of West Virginia without the words of John Denver's song, "Take Me Home, Country Roads," coming to mind. "Almost heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River" says a lot about the state. However, this description actually covers one of the reasons West Virginia became a separate state in the first place. Before the Civil War, West Virginia was simply the western part of Virginia, but because of the rugged terrain, it developed very differently. And when the Civil War broke out, West Virginia seized upon the opportunity to become independent.
Today, nestled in the mountains along the Monongahela River, sits the state's only law school: West Virginia University College of Law.
Overview and Location
West Virginia University College of Law is a small public school founded in 1878 with an average student body of 300 students. Located in Morgantown in the northeastern part of the state, WVU Law offers students an affordable legal education in a unique location.
Morgantown is a smaller city with a population of around 30,000, located about 75 miles south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The area surrounding Morgantown contains beautiful rolling hills, river valleys, state forests, and a large lake. If you like outdoor activities, you could not pick a better spot for finding hiking and biking trails to relieve the stress of law school.
Academics and Alums
WVU Law ranks among the top schools in the country for public service, business, and practical training. Students can choose from four areas of emphasis to tailor their J.D. to their interests, including Energy and Sustainable Development. WVU's law review is one of the oldest in the country, founded in 1894.
The school also offers several joint degree programs, including a J.D./M.B.A. (online) and a J.D./Master of Social Work (MSW).
WVU College of Law counts several politicians and judges both at the state and federal levels among its graduates, including the former West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Elliott E. Maynard, Jr. and Chief U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of West Virginia, Gina Marie Groh.
Law School and Beyond
Choosing a law school is only the beginning of your journey to becoming a lawyer. On FindLaw for Law Students, you'll find articles about succeeding in your classes, studying for the bar exam, and more.